Great Wines to Pair with Beef Tartar
It’s a dish with elegance and one with history as well. Beef Tartar is flavorful and rich with a story that stretches back to ancient times. Today it’s associated with fine dining, yet its origins date to the armies of Genghis Khan and quite possibly to the meat-eating preferences of Attila the Hun, who it was said ate all of his food raw, even the meat which he’d place between his thighs and his horse’s flank when he rode. As these barbaric tribes came in from Central Asia, the Romans learned to fear the savagery, blood and destruction these conquerors brought with them. They called the tribes the Ta-ta and soon associated their name with the Latin word Tartarus meaning hell. Fast forward through the centuries to the beef tartar served today and we find nothing of its rugged beginnings. Instead, the dish has so risen in status that it’s found in many top restaurants around the world where wine experts consider which wines best bring out its meaty flavors. Here are a few suggestions for finding some great wines to pair with beef tartar.
Luca Maroni, sensorial analyst from Italy, has two suggestions for finding an ideal wine match and offers the option of either a white or a red. The first is a Lyra Gewürztraminer 2018 from the winery Nals Margreid. “It’s hard not to admire the quality of the wines presented by Nals Margreid,” notes Maroni, who particularly likes the fact that the Lyra Gewürztraminer 2018 manages to be both rich and soft. This wine is an aromatic white which is rich and intense with a golden yellow tone and a scent which is fresh and fruity. On the palate, it’s soft and well-balanced with a long fruity finish.
For the red, Maroni suggests an easy-to-drink, fresh, young red like the Cannonau Bantu 2017 from Antichi Poderi Jerzu, made from a careful selection of the winery’s best grapes, which are aged in large barrels in order to maintain the fresh flavors of the fruit. This Cannonau has a ruby red color with violet tones. Its scent is typical for this variety with a clear perfume of wild berries and Mediterranean scrub. Paired with a beef tartar, this wine has a full bodied, balanced warmth with just the right hint of tannins.